Electrical neural stimulation (ENS)

Electrical Neural Stimulation (ENS) is an electroanalgesia, used to relieve low back pain, myofascial and arthritic pain, sympathetically mediated pain, bladder incontinence, neurogenic pain, visceral pain, and postsurgical pain.

Status: Decision completed

Why is ENS being reviewed?

Concerns about the efficacy and relative cost of use of ENS, particularly whether the use of ENS units in strategies for addressing chronic pain improve clinical outcomes compared to alternative strategies. There have been many reports concerning the use of ENS for various types of conditions; but ongoing debate about the degree to which ENS is more effective than placebo in reducing pain. Additionally, a variety of newer transcutaneous or percutaneous electrical stimulation modalities recently has emerged.

Primary criteria ranking

  • Safety = Low
  • Efficacy = High
  • Cost = Low


Assessment timeline

  • Draft report published: September 8, 2009
    • Public comment period: September 8 to 22, 2009
  • Final report published: October 2, 2009
  • HTCC public meeting: October 30, 2009